No, it won’t win any awards for invention outright, but then again, taking the best features of designs from the past and building them in near-perfect harmony isn’t something you find every day. I especially adore the domed crystal, which adds to the vintage look by slightly distorting the borders of the minute trail from different angles. The muted dial includes the contrasting reddish “100 M” thickness score printing, which some purists may find more blasphemous than harmonious, because the watch is a pilot’s watch in the rest of the respects.What’s interesting about a watch with a date attribute is that the dial can be cut to show the day of the month everywhere around the number wheel. The date aperture is placed between the 4 and 5 o’clock hour markers, the only element of the layout that isn’t a historical throwback but a rather a nod to the other chronographs from the Bell & Ross line.The bezel is very classic looking, and also very clever. Borrowing the ultra-simple minute amounts and hashes from older dive sequences of the 50s and 60s, you’d believe you were looking at an older plastic bezel insert which was kept in pristine condition; after all, every bezel with this type face and design was made from some kind of epoxy or celluloid. Not this watch. Just really thoughtful design on a simple, flat metal ring.
On June 9th, Bell & Ross launched its new limited edition BR01 Airborne (the “skull” watch) at Colette, the Parisian fashion and style boutique. At the store, the BR01 Airborne collection was on display, including two new diamond versions of the watch, shown here:
The BR01 Airborne (limited edition of 500 pieces) was developed in honor of the courageous soldiers who fought during World War II, particularly the paratroopers of the US Airborne divisions. The skull was one of the emblems they wore on their uniforms as a symbol of courage in the face of death.
Bell & Ross produced a video tribute to the soldiers which you can watch here
I think B&R did a very good job with the video as it is portrayed in a tactful and tasteful manner as a “tribute” video should be. While the BR01 Airborne has been criticized by some, and there are others who say that they “don’t get it”, I think that the BR01 Airborne is a very special watch with profound symbolism behind it, and I applaud Bell & Ross for producing it.?Ç¬ What do you think?
Kyle Stults is Founder & President of Perpetuelle.com, a new online community for watch owners, collectors & enthusiasts.